Effects of the Hegemonies in Urban Planning on Latinos and POCs

Understand how and why the unbalanced power design of cities affects Latinos in the United States.

Okezue Bell
8 min readFeb 1, 2022


The organization of city spaces is extremely important and can influence the politics, work, and life of Latinos within the space. Urban planning hegemony describes the cultural power structures when cities are built and the factors they must consider to be inclusive, including how they will modify their urban systems to accommodate more Latinos and strengthen their communities.

fHispanic populations are growing rapidly, accounting for nearly 20% of the US population, contributing to their high prervalence in cities, but gentrification is continually piling them into worse living and socioeconomic conditions.

Pre-war racist anti-black legislation, such as Jim Crow, influenced the great divide between minorities and white individuals in private housing. My project has answered the question: What are the most important weak points that prevent large cities from achieving an effective integration of Latinos?, and also, How do prejudices, stereotypes and xenophobia play a role in the development of Latinos? Latinos? inclusive urban systems for Latinos?

I have investigated this in the context of existing urban infrastructure in the Lehigh Valley and Pennsylvania. I have collaborated with current ACLU President Deborah Archer on this project, who has done extensive research on urban systems for minority groups, from roads to housing. Members of the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission also helped develop this project.

As summarized above, three of the most important factors that have contributed to some of the major ones are:
1. Gentrification
2. Racial isolation/poverty

, while some of the biggest effects of non-inclusive urban planning that we will have seen by 2030 are:
1. Significant declines in Latino population density
2. Fewer economic opportunities for Latinos in big cities
3. Mass closings of Latino-owned businesses and/or replacement of Latino businesses with mainstream white-owned businesses



Okezue Bell

Social technologist with a passion for journalism and community outreach.